Devil's Pass Review

In February of 1959 a group mysteriously disappears in the Ural Mountains of Russia leaving behind no survivors, details of what happened are scarce, mix that with a "found footage" styling and you have Devil's Pass.

A US team of documentary filmmakers travel to Russia (sounds familiar?) in search of answers to thec A very real incident where Soviet investigators determined that although two of victims suffered from fractured skulls, two from broken ribs and one was missing her tongue, that the group parished of natural causes. Likely the act of an avalanche, except for the whole tongue thing and radioactive clothing, it has caused any number of theories to surface.

The group is led by the overly perky, Holly, who's sole purpose is to keep everyone on track as they track down the truth. Which proves to be a tough nut to crack, with the tightlipped locals. The film although slow to start picks up the pace as the crew begins hiking, and thats when things get truly weird.

On the “Mountain of the Dead,” they’re faced with plenty of unexplained incidents from footprints mysteriously appearing in the snow to GPS navigation devices failing to work. It quickly spirals out of control by the time the surviving group has to retreat to a mysterious cave for the final act of the movie.

The premise of Devil’s Pass is completely provocative though it never quite lives up to its hype. Rather than delivering scares, its merely suspenseful. “Devil’s Pass” is, in many ways, an upgraded “Blair Witch Project.” But rather than capitalizing on that fear that "Blair Witch Project" captured with its simple story, "Devil's Pass" nixes the shaky camera work, and gives a rather complicated back story that draws the suspense out far too long.

Is it entertaining? Sure, but the dialogue is utterly groan-worthy, and I felt that I was laughing more at the movie rather that with it.  Director Renny Harlin (Die Hard 2) would have been better off telling the story of the actual “Dyatlov Pass Incident” rather than to delve into the found footage craze.

Devil's Pass opens in limited release and on VOD Friday, August 23rd.


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